Tory councillor quits and apologises for 'foolish' and 'thoughtless' tweets
'Thanks Ireland. You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks'
A Tory councillor who wrote a tweet during the Eurovision Song Contest in which he referred to Irish people as "gypsies" has resigned.
Nick Harrington, who sat on Warwick District Council, stood down from his position after being suspended for six months by the Conservative group.
He had already quit his role as a magistrate and has since deleted his Twitter account.
In a statement Mr Harrington apologised "unreservedly" for causing "considerable offence to both members of the traveller community and to those of Irish heritage".
He drew widespread criticism after sending the offensive tweet during Saturday's Eurovision, in which he said: "#Eurovision2017 thanks Ireland. You can keep your f***** gypsies! Hard border coming folks!"
The content appeared to refer to Ireland having given the UK no points in the jury voting round, and implied there will be hard border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.
Mr Harrington also acknowledged he had been wrong to make "ill-judged" comments about athlete Christine Ohuruogu on Facebook last year, in which he reportedly likened her to a black scarecrow.
Conceding his tweets were "foolish" and "thoughtless" he said: "I am devastated that I have caused these events and apologise unreservedly to all constituents of Stoneleigh and Cubbington ward and to the wider public for the offence I have caused."
Andrew Mobbs, leader of Warwick District Council, said he believed Mr Harrington had also resigned from his role on Weston Under Wetherley parish council.
He said: "I believe his resignation to be entirely appropriate.
"He is, however, still under investigation by the police who will no doubt update us as soon as they have made their report.
"I am very disappointed that his comment was made in the first place and by the reaction it generated towards the district council on social media.
"Nick Harrington was not an employee of Warwick District Council and so I would like to add that his attitude and comments are in no way supported by the district council, or are in any way a reflection on the progressive and dedicated staff that work for the council."
Warwickshire Police said it is investigating reports of a tweet posted on Saturday evening.
A spokesman said: "Officers are aware of other tweets, posted on this account, which may have caused concern; these will be considered during the investigation."